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Walter BesantThe History of London (March 28, 2009)

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LibriVox recording of The History of London, by Walter Besant. Read by Ruth Golding.

Walter Besant was a novelist and historian, and his topographical and historical writings, ranging from prehistoric times to the nineteenth century, were probably best known through the detailed 10-volume Survey of London published after his death.

This earlier single volume covers, in less depth, the whole period from prehistory until the 19th century. The book appears originally to have been written for boys, and, indeed, the chapters are called "Lessons". However, it is a very readable history and provides a fascinating insight into both London's past and the government of the City at the time the book was written (1894). (Summary by Ruth Golding)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox.org.

Download M4B Part 1 (123MB)
Download M4B Part 2 (114MB)



This audio is part of the collection: The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
It also belongs to collection: Audio Books & Poetry

Artist/Composer: Walter Besant
Date: 2009-03-28
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Keywords: librivox; audiobook; history; Roman; Saxon; mediaeval; medieval; Elizabethan; Georgian; Victorian; Londinium; Augusta; City of London; Guildhall; Royal Exchange; Port of London; St. Paul's Cathedral; Westminster Abbey; monasteries; hospitals; theatres; Whittington; Fitzstephen; Christopher Wren; Gresham; trade; Hanseatic League; companies; leprosy; famine; plague; fire; plays; pageants

Creative Commons license: Public Domain


Individual Files

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Audio Files 128kbps M3U 64Kbps M3U 64Kbps MP3 ZIP 128Kbps MP3 Ogg Vorbis PNG 64Kbps MP3 Essentia High GZ Essentia Low GZ Spectrogram
01 - Lessons 1 - 2: The Foundation of London (I - II) 13.1 MB 
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02 - Lessons 3 - 4: Roman London (I - II) 12.4 MB 
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03 - Lessons 5 - 7: After the Romans (I - III) 18.6 MB 
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04 - Lessons 8 - 10: The First and Second Saxon Settlements, and The Anglo-Saxon Citizen 17.4 MB 
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05 - Lessons 11 - 12: The Wall of London, and Norman London 11.6 MB 
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06 - Lessons 13 - 14: Fitzstephen's Account of the City (I - II) 12.8 MB 
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07 - Lessons 15 - 18: London Bridge (I - II), and The Tower of London (I - II) 23.2 MB 
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08 - Lessons 19 - 20: The Pilgrims, and St. Bartholomew's Hospital 12.2 MB 
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09 - Lessons 21 - 22: The Terror of Leprosy, and The Terror of Famine 14.3 MB 
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10 - Lessons 23 - 25: St. Paul's Cathedral (I - II), and Paul's Churchyard 19.7 MB 
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11 - Lessons 26 - 27: The Religious Houses, and Monks, Friars, and Nuns 13.1 MB 
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12 - Lessons 28 - 29: The London Churches, The Streets 13.9 MB 
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13 - Lessons 30 - 32: Whittington (I - III) 17.5 MB 
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14 - Lessons 33 - 35: Gifts and Bequests, The Palaces and Great Houses, and Amusements 19.1 MB 
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15 - Lessons 36 - 37: Westminster Abbey, and The Court at Westminster 12.2 MB 
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16 - Lessons 38 - 39: Justice and Punishments, and The Political Power of London 13.8 MB 
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17 - Lessons 40 - 42: Elizabethan London (I - III) 17.3 MB 
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18 - Lessons 43 - 45: Trade (I - III) 19.7 MB 
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19 - Lessons 46 - 49: Plays and Pageants (I - IV) 23.7 MB 
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20 - Lessons 50 - 51: The Terror of the Plague (I - II) 13.3 MB 
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21 - Lessons 52 - 53: The Terror of Fire (I - II) 12.5 MB 
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22 - Lesson 54: Rogues and Vagabonds 7.1 MB 
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23 - Lessons 55 - 59: Under George the Second (I - V) 30.4 MB 
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24 - Lessons 60 - 62: The Government of the City (I - III) 16.1 MB 
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25 - Lesson 63: London 7.9 MB 
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26 - Author's Notes on Lessons 1 - 20 33.0 MB 
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27 - Author's Notes on Lessons 21 - 39 22.7 MB 
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28 - Author's Notes on Lessons 40 - 63 2.5 KB 
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Average Rating: 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: lanternland - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - February 4, 2013
Subject: Extremely interesting
Extremely interesting, and superbly read by Ruth Golding.
Reviewer: Teutonic girl - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - November 22, 2012
Subject: Superb
This is a wonderful and utterly fascinating story, very well written, and marvellously read.
Reviewer: picfixer - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 7, 2011
Subject: Interesting popular history
Very much reflects Victorian values. Excellent reading.
Reviewer: theharpist - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 4, 2011
Subject: easy-listening history
This book is fascinating to listen to. It seems to be intended for children, but it is an absorbing cultural/political/geographical/social overview. The reader is excellent.

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